Nail Salon Junkie: 5 Reasons You Need To End Your Addiction

5 reasons you should forsake the nail salons.

By: Amanda Anderson

We have all been victims of the addiction. Who hasn’t spent more money than they could afford to keep their nails in top condition? Nails are one of the crucial aspects to a woman’s beauty regime. And in a world that is so focused on a woman’s looks and charm; no woman wants to walk around with a set of unflattering nails. So it’s perfectly acceptable to want to rock beautiful nails in addition to having the flyest wardrobe ever. The only thing you should reconsider is how you choose to maintain a beautiful set of nails. Should you continue to be a nail salon junkie and spend thousands of dollars on fake nails and sloppy manicures or should you take matters into your own hands (literally) and become your own nail technician?

Before you tell me I am crazy to tell you to forsake the nail salon, here are few reasons that I may be a little more sane than you would like to admit.

1. The amount of money you could save is mind blowing.

When you think about the costs of maintaining beautiful nails, the numbers are a little shameful. To get a full set of acrylic nails, you will have to spend at least $20. Fill-ins which will be needed at the maximum every two weeks, will run you around $15. And that’s not factoring nail repair (which you will need), that can run you anywhere for $7 to $10 per nail.

Pedicures are steeper, with them usually ranging around $30. There are some women who only get these occasionally, but there are some that get pedicures every two weeks.

If you factor in all these costs, it’s easy to spend at least $100 a month just on your nails. And if you do this each month, that is a whopping $1200 a year for nails.

If you wear your natural nails, you could paint your own nails and do your own manicures. Manicure sets and polishes can be found in any drug stores for a little under $10. These sets last for months, and can keep you from spending lots of money in the salons. Not to mention, natural nails don’t require fill-ins since there are numerous polishes on the market that can protect and naturally thicken nails.

I haven’t taken a trip to a nail salon in years and I always get complimented on my natural nails that I do myself. It’s a short learning curve that can save you lots of money.

2. You may be the topic of discussion in your favorite nail salon, and not even know it.

Let’s have some honest girl talk here. Most nail salons aren’t run by people that look like us. Now that doesn’t mean that other businesses don’t deserve our services, but there have been plenty of times when I had to questioned what my nail technician was really saying about me in her native language. It’s a very uncomfortable situation, and frankly, it makes the trip to the nail salon a lot more unappealing. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to hand over my money to someone who isn’t necessarily giving me the best customer service.

3. The health risks aren’t worth it.

Ever noticed that your favorite and trusted nail technician has a mask over her face, but you’re just sitting there inhaling all the toxic fumes she’s chosen to avoid? Yeah, that’s definitely a signal that you are in a place that isn’t necessarily good for your health.

Research shows that some of the most toxic chemicals on the planet are found in most nail salons. Inhaling these fumes can cause health defects such as cancer and even cause defects in pregnancy. To put it short, it’s not safe for anyone to inhale these products. That’s why your nail technician was smart enough to keep her face covered. So maybe you should be smart enough to skip the nail trip, unless you too plan on wearing a mask on your next visit.

4. Your real nails hate the products you’re using.

Even if you opt to use fake nails instead of relying on your natural nails, the damage that you can cause your real nails just isn’t worth the trip to the nail salon. A lot of nail salons are not necessarily hygienic when it comes to nail equipment, and they do not keep their tools properly cleaned. There have been many cases of nail shop enthusiasts getting a nasty case of nail fungus. It is an itchy and painful type of fungus that has to be treated medically.

5. It’s an ego boost to do your own nails.

Maybe I’m just a little bit on the vain side, but I can’t tell you how good it feels to hear someone compliment me on my nails. When you do your own nails, you will gradually get better after each time. Next thing you know, you’ll be doing your own manicures and pedicures. And don’t tell me you won’t feel a little diva knowing that you did own nails.

I gave you five reasons to skip the nail salon, but ultimately, it will take time to get used to doing your own nails. The best way to start is to master a simple polish. It may take a few trials and errors to find a nail polish brand that you like, but when you do, you will easily have some of the most beautiful nails that any one has ever seen. Next you can learn how to do your own manicures, and eventually do your own pedicures. There are so many products (some without toxins) and gadgets (there are at home pedicure stations) that you can use to make your nails look as if you never gave up the professional visits.

When you think back on how much money you could save, it makes the learning curve a lot less painful and totally worth it.


  1. I am really trying to cut out nail salons all together. From my experience, the people that own these places don't particularly like black people. What we really need to be asking is why there aren't many black owned nail salons?

  2. Okay, I didn't ever consider how unhealthy the environment is in a nail shop. It does seem shady that they cover their faces and have you sitting their inhaling it religiously. I am attempting to stop the nail salon visits, and I haven't been in three months. For me, that is a very big deal. I stopped because the costs were getting outrageous considering I have so many bills to pay (student loans).

  3. I wholeheartedly agree with the savings aspect of home manicures. Especially being a college students. And my natural nails are so weak, yet, I can't kick the habit!Nice tips, but I think it's a insensitive to generalize people who predominately own nail salons as insulting their customers, simply because they speak in their native language. It could be that it makes them feel more comfortable talking to each other, or they may be discussing private matters. Also, some of them don't speak English fluently, so it may be easier to speak their language. Just consider yourself as a business owner in another country. Besides, Black-owned places aren't exactly gossip-free…can we say beauty shop? I don't doubt for a minute that some the women talk about me as I'm sitting under a dryer or as soon as I leave, you know, because that's what we as women do to each other. And I hear them talk about every one else, so what makes me an exception?I've been going to the same nail shop since 8th grade (about 10 years now) and I always have a pleasant experience, maybe except for the wait (but that's because everyone loves the shop as much as I do!). Honestly, and since I go to a shop in the West End, the only people who make me uncomfortable on occasion are other customers…who look like me, unfortunately. So if the shop owners are talking about me, at least they have the courtesy to do it in a discreet way.

  4. @ LoveWinsI don't think she was being insensitive, she was being real! I have been to plenty of nail salons where the staff was not very pleasant, and they talked to me and my friend like we were scum on the bottom of their shoes. It's not about them speaking their native language, it's about the bad treatment. And I'm sorry, you're lucky if you found a nail salon where you are treated well. And rather or not women gossip at black salons, at least they don't talk about you in front of your face. So maybe you're in the minority, but me and many others have all had the same bad experiences. It's about time someone wrote about it, and I appreciate the honesty.And this also applies to the weave business, Asians own a huge stake in it as well. One even told me I was too pretty to be black, considering that black people aren't usually pretty. Now what's more insensitive, this honest article or that pathetic statement?

  5. @Sharon, I wouldn't say I'm in the minority, I know plenty of people who have pleasant times at their shops…which is why the nail shops are still bringing in beaucoup profits. And does gossiping in the beauty salon become acceptable simply because it's done behind your back? Stylists are belittling the very same-skinned sistahs who keep their businesses going, and that's ok? I don't doubt that some nail shop owners who happen to be Asian gossip about their clients, but that's HUMAN nature, no ethnic exception. my only point is that we shouldn't assume that's what they are doing simply because we don't understand the language. Just because it's different doesn't mean it's laced with cruel intentions. Furthermore, let's not act like we've never heard another black person comment that one's beauty is somehow surprising because of their blackness. We do it alllll the time, so I guess that's acceptable too? I'm not justifying that too pretty to be black statement because that's outlandish, I agree. But we can't be so quick to reprimand others and not correct ourselves foe doing the same thing.And as far as being uncomfortable with my own ppl, yes it is pretty sad. It's sad that they're always busy cursing out their children or talking loudly on their phones, or doing whatever ever else casts us in a bad light. I love those sistahs regardless; and that issue is far more pressing than any assumption that someone is talking about me.

  6. @ LovewinsAgain, you left another response that clearly demonstrates that you have a lot of issues with your own people. If you want to feel that way about black women, then by all means, go ahead. I won't join you while you put down your own people and uplift a group of people who continuously put down our race. Out of all the tips in this article, you had a problem because someone shared their own PERSONAL experience. That is her experience, my experience, and the experience of a lot of black women. You say you're not in the minority and I say congrats. But for me and most women I know, that is NOT the reality. So as an adult, at least respect people's experiences even though THEY DIFFER FROM YOURS. What is the problem with a sister sharing her bad experience in a nail salon? You have your opinion and experience, and I have mine. Thanks and good day.

  7. Whoa…I myself thought this was a great article with good points, and I can't understand how it turned into a debate about black women acting crazy and cursing their kids out in public. @ Lovewins, sister, you are a little too sensitive about something that really isn't that deep. The reality is, while you may have had many great experiences…others have had really BAD experiences in nail salons. This is a place for black women to talk about things that we go through, and you came here two times to talk how we scare you? You might need to self-reflect. And I think you are more insensitive than anyone else that commented or even the author, you can't even respect that people have their own experiences. That is not cool…if you don't agree fine. But you can't argue with someone about their own experience.And lastly, both of you missed the whole point of the article! The author is saying forget the nail salons so you can save money! The fact that neither of you walked away with that is a problem. You'd rather spend all your money at a nail salon when you can do them yourselves? And then you could I don't know…invest that money?Or did you forget the part of the article where's she discussing how unhealthy these places are?Oh that's right, you'd rather argue about one point that really had no real significance. But we SCARE YOU?God bless all, and I appreciate the article.-Anon at 12:17pm

  8. Sorry belles, we appreciate you speaking your minds and discussing interesting points; but we are going to have to cut off further commenting on this article. This conversation is getting a little too passionate, and we definitely don’t want things to get out of hand. We aren't the type of site that encourages our readers to attack each other or to put down our race. It goes against what we stand for. Feel free to email us if you have any further questions or suggestions. Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for visiting!

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